I F'd my truck up bad - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 03-10-2011
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I F'd my truck up bad

So story first. I went to have my alignment done on my truck today. Got a call from the tech there saying that my drivers side inner tie rod was shot and would need replacing before I do an alignment. He said they would do it for $180. I told him I would just come pick up the truck, replace it and bring it back tomorrow. That isn't going to happen now.

So here's what went wrong. Got the part on the way home, got home got the inner tie rod replaced. Got the threads exactly the same as the old one.

Started the truck turned the tires all the way to one side then all the way to the other side a couple times. Everything looked right, tires faced straight. Went to take it around the block and didn't even make it three houses down the road. The steering wheel went 90 degrees to the left and the tires were still straight. Now my front tires feel like they are wobbling or shimming side to side while only going 5 mph. Now the steering wheel is 270 degrees to the left when the tires are straight and I only drove it for maybe a 1/4 of a block.

When I turn the steering wheel to the left it only moves 3/4 of a turn from when the tires are facing forward. And when I turn the wheel to the right when the tires are facing forward the steering wheel will turn 2 complete turns.

So here's the catch. I didn't know there was a special tool for removing the inner tie rod as I could not find any instructions in AllData, Mitchell or even Haynes manual. So I just used a wrench when I unscrewed it from the rack and pinion.

So I have a very sickening feeling that I ****ed the rack and pinion up and will have to replace it. Can anyone suggest what might be the problem or if its just as easy as going in and adjusting something (highly doubt it).

Need help ASAP as I need to get my truck up and running tomorrow as I need it for work on Friday. Sorry for the long read, just don't know what to do and don't want to spend $130 on something I might not need..

Also what is the hose for that is coming off the boot for the inner tie rod.
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Old 03-10-2011
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The tool you needed is called a "Pickle Fork". Sorry can't really help with much else. Good luck bro
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Old 03-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hurley View Post
The tool you needed is called a "Pickle Fork". Sorry can't really help with much else. Good luck bro
Nope, he's talking about an inner tie rod tool, not the outer.

I have no idea what you could have messed up, many people use pipe wrenches to remove and install inner tie rods with no ill effects. I have before I got the tool.

The hose IIRC is simply a breather.

Can you post pics of what it looks like under there right now?

Are you leaking fluid? Did you score the piston on the rack and pinion when removing/installing?
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Old 03-10-2011
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Are you sure because I'm changing my tie rod today and my brother (17 year diesel mechanic) told me to use a pickle fork for the inner tie rod (to get behind the rubber boot) and a wrench for the outer.
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Old 03-10-2011
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well i had a similar problem, i only did my outer tie rods and they LOOKED straight to me. I work at a dealership so i just drove it to work to get it aligned, but the ride in was absolutely terrifying.The wheels were apparently slightly toed in like \ / from a top view. This made the truck buck all over the road and the steering wheel did whatever the hell it wanted. It may just be the same thing for you.
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Old 03-10-2011
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Chris, if you end up having to replace your rack, it's not a very hard process. It helps to have air tools and friends to help though - I think it took us about 4 hours. The racks usually come with new tie rod ends as well, so if you don't have to worry about getting those damn boots clamped on again.

Ryan, your brother's got it the other wrong way. You need to first break off the retaining clips on the boot for your inner tie rod, then use a wrench to take off the tie rod. Your outer tie rod is where you might need a pickle fork. We were able to replace mine without using a pickle fork; we just had a few well placed hits with a three pound sledge to pop it out.
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Old 03-10-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 03edge View Post
well i had a similar problem, i only did my outer tie rods and they LOOKED straight to me. I work at a dealership so i just drove it to work to get it aligned, but the ride in was absolutely terrifying.The wheels were apparently slightly toed in like \ / from a top view. This made the truck buck all over the road and the steering wheel did whatever the hell it wanted. It may just be the same thing for you.
Well I don't think the tires being toed in would cause the steering wheel gear inside the rack and pinion to spin without moving the rack. The instructors at my school think I might have bent the rack when I was loosening the inner tie rod because it took a lot of pressure to get that damn thing to break loose. I think I'll just replace the rack and pinion today as the truck has 205k miles on it and just about everything is still stock on it.
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Old 03-10-2011
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Well, sounds like time for a sas
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Old 03-10-2011
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Lol. I like Taylors view, it's annoying here's the proof so just change it. To the point. Sorry I don't have any advice except baby it to the mechanic and let him look at it and look at him looking at it so he don't try to rob ya. I did that to my new mechanic and he never tried anything since. :)
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Old 03-10-2011
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John, Kevin, and I did my passenger inner tie rod (which was bent from a little accident I had) at the last Tri-State meet and I drove it around the block and 2 hours home. No problems at all. I brought clips for the boot and the we used a wrench to take it out. I didn't bring locktite though which I should have but it been installed for 6 months with zero problems. Well besides that the tie rod is solid rust now but it's Ohio so whatevs.
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Old 03-11-2011
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Ok well I got the problem taken care of. As I was about to head to the parts store I noticed that my tires were both facing dead center. Well they weren't before I did the inner tie rod they both were toed out. So I took the out tie rod back off to discover that the new inner tie rod was a 1/4" shorter then the old one and I must have missed that when I was comparing them yesterday. So I turned the outer tie rod 1/4" out to make up for the difference and the truck handled like it did before I touched it. Took it to the shop and had it aligned. All is good now.

But word to the wise pay very close attention when you are comparing two parts together.
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Old 03-11-2011
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What tie rod did you get? I just got the plain jane Autozone one and it was a perfect match. What brand was yours so people know what to avoid or look for?
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Old 03-12-2011
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Originally Posted by Masteratarms93 View Post
What tie rod did you get? I just got the plain jane Autozone one and it was a perfect match. What brand was yours so people know what to avoid or look for?
It was this one http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_Steering-Tie-Rod-End-Driveworks_15510489-P_79_R|GRPCHASAMS_1688000140___ at Advance Auto parts. Been having really bad luck with Advances parts lately I don't know if I'll be using them any more. My dad bought both idler pulleys for his 02 Ranger 4.0 SOHC. And they've only been on there for 6 months maybe 4000 miles and there's already a lot of play in them.
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Old 03-12-2011
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good to hear you got it solved!
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Old 03-21-2011
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Good it is fixed but is there enough threads in the end of the rod to support the tie rod end and the forces for turning the vehicle ?

How many threads did you turn it in and out before if was the correct length compared to the one you took out ?
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Old 03-21-2011
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Good it is fixed but is there enough threads in the end of the rod to support the tie rod end and the forces for turning the vehicle ?

How many threads did you turn it in and out before if was the correct length compared to the one you took out ?
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